Predicting an upset in the NFL is no easy task, no matter what anybody tells you. Favorites in Vegas are favorites for a reason; they are usually the better team.
So what do you look for in predicting an upset? For starters, you look for favorable matchups. Perhaps you have an underdog that runs the football effectively going against a team with a depleted defensive line.
Or you could look for an underdog with a top-notch receiver going against a cornerback limited by injury. Favorites in the NFL still have weaknesses, because no team is perfect even if their record is unblemished.
Another approach is to look at a team's recent opponents. For example, I'd be very hesitant to bank on a 2-1 San Francisco team against Philadelphia that has wins over Seattle and Cincinnati, but lost to Dallas.
Conversely, while the Miami Dolphins have been anything but good in going 0-3, they deserve some consideration as a possible upset pick after playing New England, Houston and Cleveland (all teams with winning records) to start the season.
Perhaps my favorite approach is to look at favorites where something just doesn't jive. All the credit in the world should go to Buffalo for going 3-0 to open the season, but can it really last? The defense is a hodge-podge of castoffs and marginal talent. Will they just outscore teams all season? Maybe, but I have to see it to believe it.
There are so many other methods for predicting upsets, such as momentum, getting a team coming of a big win or looking ahead, etc., that you could drive yourself nuts over-analyzing a game and I'll try my best to do that here.
In reality, the best approach might just be to go with your gut. Yes, you could crunch the numbers of how a team has done at home or on the road the last five times they played a specific opponent, and Vegas somehow makes sense of trends like that, but for most, that brings on "paralysis by analysis".
So without further ado, here are five NFL teams that should at least be on upset alert this weekend.